Over 25 years ago, North Shore Kiwanis initiated an event called Klothes for Kids. Through the local schools, we get a list of 20-25 children whose families are in need of some financial help when it comes to shopping for back-to-school clothes for their children. After we are given the names, children from age 6 through 12, a committee makes contact with the parents and the project is off to a start.
On a Saturday in August, we enlist “personal shoppers” from the Club to accompany each child. We all meet at NS High School where our bus waits to take the children, with chaperones, to JC Penney in Roosevelt Field. Penney provides us with amazing service. Upon our arrival at 8:30 AM, they have a breakfast for all of us before we begin our day. Last year, each child was also given a backpack to start the new school year. Once fortified with a full stomach, the shopping begins. Each adult shopper is provided with $200 to spend on his/her child. The parents provide a list of sizes and prioritize the items most needed. This is a very exciting 2 hours. Most children have very definite ideas about what they like AND being “cool” when returning to school is of the utmost importance! You will certainly bond during this experience. You are rewarded by the sheer joy of the children as they leave with bags of great new things.
Our dollars go so far because A) we are a tax-exempt organization, B) JC Penney has great sales at this time of year and C) Penney gives Kiwanis a special discount when we get to the registers that are opened especially for us.
After a fun, but exhausting morning, it’s time for pizza and ice cream at Amalfi Restaurant in Glen Cove. What could be better than new outfits topped off by a delicious lunch! And after all this, the children are back to the high school by 1:00 PM to be picked up by waiting parents.
Many of our members say that this is their favorite Kiwanis event. Often, they bring friends who return on a yearly basis. The Kiwanis mission statement is Children – Priority One. North Shore Kiwanis, a community service organization, takes its mission very seriously. The bulk of the funds spent at our Klothes for Kids day are raised by our annual Pancake Breakfast. Meet new people, help the community, experience personal growth – join North Shore Kiwanis.